The Stories

Angry Young Man

Originally performed at MORTIFIED-Chicago at Schubas Tavern, September 21, 2013. Encore presentation at Broken Road Theatre Company’s Defining Moments, February 26, 2014.

Portrait of an artist as an Angry Young Man through high school (etc.) poetry and song lyrics.

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Blaming Richard Marx

Originally performed at That’s All She Wrote (inaugural show) at Swim Cafe, September 2012.

“I blame Richard Marx for the shift in my relationship with my family. Yes, Richard Marx, he of number one hit “Right Here Waiting” and high white-boy 1980s hair fame.”

Dance of The Ring

Originally performed in Solo Homo 8, produced by NewTown Writers at Strawdog Theatre’s Hugen Hall Cabaret, June 21-23, 2010; With SH8 at the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 9, 2010.  With Tenx9 – Love Stories (inaugural show) at Uncommon Ground, Chicago July 23, 2014. Published in Midwestern Gothic, Issue 11 – Fall 2013.

“‘You know what we are?'” my husband Ernie asks as he drives and I stare into the abyss.

‘What?’

‘We are an episode of Mad About You. This could only happen to us.'”

The Death of a Jock

Originally performed in Solo Homo 5, produced by NewTown Writers at Live Bait Theatre, Chicago, March 2007.

“Back in my day, those of us who wore black trench coats to high school did think about shooting our enemies–but we didn’t actually fucking do it! Instead, we wrote poetry….”

Drama 101

Originally performed at BYOB Story Hour – Encounters With Strangers at The Playground, April 15, 2014.

Dedicated to all the long lost radio stations of our youth.

Drive Safely

Originally performed at Tenx9 – Starting Over, January 27, 2015

“’It’s Steve.’ Our middle brother who turned 16 over the summer. ‘He was in a car accident last night.’”

An Ernie Yes or No

Originally performed in Solo Homo 9, produced by NewTown Writers at Strawdog Theatre’s Hugen Hall Cabaret, June 20 & 21, 2011. Published by The Everyday GayJune 2011.

After 10 years with my husband Ernie, I take on the “So…Kids…?” question through family history, pop culture, and personal reflection.

Even Me

Originally performed in the inaugural Solo Homo, produced by NewTown Writers at Bailiwick Art Center, Chicago, April 2003.

I’m a gay man, but a man nonetheless. And you know what, a lot of girls are into men. This is the tale of two of them.

If I Hadn’t Burnt that Lampshade

Originally performed at Is This a Thing? – You Just Don’t Understand at O’Shaughnessy’s Public House, April 14, 2014. Performed as part of Guts & Glory at Schubas Tavern, October 15, 2014. Published by Story Club Magazine April 2015. 

“The universe has a crazy fucking way of organizing itself, doesn’t it?”

In My Tribe

Originally performed at Serving the Sentence at Towbar, December 14, 2014.

“I felt like I was part of a freak show. An amazingly brilliant freak show, even if I didn’t exactly fit the part. Yet.”

READ AT ENTROPY MAGAZINE

Is Jimmy Stackpool Singing Too?

Originally performed in Solo Homo 7, produced by NewTown Writers at Strawdog Theatre’s Hugen Hall Cabaret, June 22-24, 2009.

“My head is leaking every known fluid it holds: blood, snot, spit, and tears….”

It’s Try and Love Me if You Can

Originally performed at You’re Being RidiculousConfession at Mary’s Attic, November 14, 2014.

“Sensitive Gay College Boy is deeply in love with Straight College Roommate…”

A Love Poem for Sleepaway Camp

Originally  written and performed for Flick Lit: Reel-to-Real Storytelling – So Bad It’s Awesome at The Logan Theatre, Chicago. May 11, 2016

“Winter into spring 1995, and I, twenty years old, am gathered in our late-night living room filled with Theatre Majors, passing a bowl after popping in our 89 cent VHS rental of our beloved Sleepaway Camp…”

Mike & Amy TLA or Never Tear Us Apart

Originally performed at MORTIFIED-Chicago at The Beat Kitchen, March 2011.  Encore presentation at MORTIFIED-Chicago at Schubas, December 10 2011. Encore encore presentation at MORTIFED-Chicago Valentines Schmalentines at the Mayne Stage, February 14, 2015.

“We were makin’ out (clothes on) on the floor on the side of her bed—we’ve made out before, but not as heavy as this—& her mom walked by and said, ‘Where are you guys?'”

More Than Words

Originally performed in the inaugural edition of Story Lab Chicago at the Black Rock Pub, January 19, 2011.

What I do believe, is that it’s hella hard to do justice to a thirty year friendship in less than 2,000 words….”

The PB Club

Originally performed in Solo Homo 4, produced by NewTown Writers at Bailiwick Art Center, Chicago, March 2006. Read at Story Club (as open mic performer) at Uncommon Ground, Chicago, June 2010.  Published in Off The Rocks 14, June 2010. Published online by Chicago Literati for their 2015 Pride Issue, June 15, 2015.

Cub Scout meetings are fun! But in their own way, the meetings we hold in my friend Bill’s basement beforehand are even more exciting….

Playing Guns

Read as part of Essay Fiesta at The Book Cellar, Chicago, February 15, 2010.

“Mark-Kent and I have the biggest yards in the whole neighborhood, and gun battles need big yards—or small countries….”

The Real World: Me

Originally written and performed for You’re Being Ridiculous at Fillet of Solo, January 24, 2015 at Lifeline Theatre, Chicago.  Published by YBR March 20, 2015.

It’s the true story of a young man who so desired to be a seven stranger picked to live in a house and have his life taped…

The Residents

Originally presented/read as part of Working Stiffs 3, produced by NewTown Writers at Bailiwick Art Center, Chicago, June 2004.  A revised version of the piece appears in Off the Rocks, Volume 12, published by NewTown Writers, December 2005.

Performed as part of This Much Is True at the Hopleaf Bar, Chicago, March 8, 2011.

For two summers in college, I worked grounds crew at a cemetery. A car ride through the grounds with my father 10 years later brings life full circle.

Route 36

A poem originally presented/read as part of Working Stiffs 4, produced by NewTown Writers at Bailiwick Art Center, Chicago, June 2005.

Once upon a time, my brother and I delivered the Detroit News.

Saint Kathy The Mouse

Originally read as part of Story Club (as Featured Reader) at UnCommon Ground, Chicago.  November 4, 2010.

“Kathy does that—is just there, back for another go, no explanation of her estrangement. I like her, but have to be in the mood for Kathy, her whining, and general odd ways of showing she likes you….”

Silencing the Creaks or The Final Word

Originally performed in Solo Homo 3, produced by NewTown Writers at Bailiwick Art Center, Chicago, February 2005.  Revised and performed for Is This a Thing? – Are You There God, It’s Me…? at O’Shaughnessy’s, Chicago, April 11, 2016.

My grandmother was definitely crucial in the development of love of and art. I do love her, despite her wanting me to go back to church and be straight….

Tape 1, Side A, Song 1

Originally written and performed for Is This a Thing? – Your Song at O’Shaughnessy’s, Chicago, July 13, 2015.

“That’s Aunt Alison singing!” I exclaim every time Dad plays Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon.” I am old enough to vocalize associations if not schooled in all things Stevie Nicks.

Teeter Todd

Originally performed in Solo in Blue, produced by Blue Moon Studio Theater at Kate the Great’s Book Emporium, Chicago, February 2006. Read at Story Club (as open mic performer) at Uncommon Ground, Chicago, September 2010. Performed at Solo Theatre Saturdays April 12, 2014.

Collegiate friendship, love, and sex…in a primitive era of the Internet.

Treat Me Well

Originally written and performed for Essay Fiesta at The Book Cellar, Chicago.April 18, 2016.

“Well I have lost some time, but I have won,” Ann Wilson softly sings on track seven of Heart’s 1977 album, Little Queen. “And if you make it through,” she continues, “you know you’ve just begun.” A couple more lines and then the chorus: “So will you treat me well, oh will you treat me well..?” Never mind her yearning toward the song’s unnamed other, she is singing those words, that chorus, to thirteen-year-old Michael…”

 The Two Turns of Table 12: A Waiter’s Tale

Most recently performed in Working Stiffs 5, produced by NewTown Writers at Bailiwick Art Center, Chicago, June 2006.  An earlier version was performed in the inaugural Working Stiffs, June 2002.

It must be a full moon, because I’ve had few odd characters in my section tonight.